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FWC proposes new deer hunting regulations for northwest Florida

stc1993stc1993 Albany, GA Carrabelle, FLPosts: 9,492 Admiral
Something I read today from FWC that's new to me.


The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC), at its meeting in Weston today, approved a draft proposal that would divide the state’s Hunting Zone D (from Pensacola to Tallahassee) into two deer management units (DMUs), each with its own unique set of deer antler-point regulations and antlerless deer harvest days.

These proposals for Zone D, which if passed at the April 2014 Commission meeting, would take effect during the 2014-15 hunting season and are part of a larger, statewide project aimed at managing deer on a more local level and providing stakeholders with a greater say in deer management. The Commission also directed staff to provide an update on this issue at the February Commission meeting.

The FWC conducted a public outreach and input process in northwest Florida during the first three months of 2013. During that period, the Commission received input and comments from hunters, farmers and the general public regarding how they would like to see deer managed in the newly proposed DMUs.

As a result of this outreach process, the FWC is considering rule proposals for both public and private lands in both of the DMUs in Zone D, specifically north and south of Interstate 10. Currently statewide on private lands and most wildlife management areas, bucks that are legal to take must have at least one antler that is at least 5 inches long.

The proposals would require that bucks harvested north of I-10 in Hunting Zone D have antlers with at least three points (each point having to be at least 1 inch long) on one side. South of I-10 in Zone D, the minimum antler requirement would be two points on one side.

The proposal includes an exception to the antler requirements in both DMUs whereby youth 15 years old and younger may continue to harvest bucks with at least one antler that is 5 inches or more in length.

Also, the FWC is proposing a change to the antlerless deer season (“doe days”) on private lands within Zone D. Currently in that zone, the season to take deer of either sex (except spotted fawns) runs for seven consecutive days: Dec. 26 – Jan. 1. In the proposed rules, those dates north of I-10 would change to eight days distributed across four weekends (Saturday-Sunday after Thanksgiving, first weekend of muzzleloading gun season, third weekend of general gun season and the weekend after Christmas).

South of I-10, in Zone D, the proposal would change the antlerless season to four days consisting of two popular holiday weekends (the weekends after Thanksgiving and Christmas).

The purpose of modifying the antlerless deer season is to spread out the hunting opportunity, so that more hunters may be able to participate without substantially reducing deer populations. These changes would be monitored to measure the impact on the deer harvest and hunter satisfaction within each DMU.

Replies

  • SAENoleSAENole Posts: 11,477 AG
    The idea of letting little bucks get older is fine, but leave doe week alone.
    Warning Level 2
  • vlcmsrfrvlcmsrfr Tallahassee, JupiterPosts: 215 Deckhand
    I wish they would be doing this for zone C also. You can only see and shoot so many young small bucks before you want to start passing them. Then they all start getting passed until they get shot by the guy 100 yards down the bottom. It would be great to see more mature deer in wmas.

    I would like to see some if those doe days spread out like that but on public land too. It goes hand in hand with letting the bucks get a little older. Unless you bow hunt, you have a very small chance to take a doe. Almost all wmas have does off limits for muzzleloading and gun. A lot of people would rather let the small buck walk and shoot a mature doe out of the dozens that are passed in a season
  • dewyafishdewyafish Posts: 5,025 Admiral
    Florida needs some serious help with thier deer management plan.

    Go one whole season without harvesting a buck and see what you have the next year.
    Doe harvest needs to be more liberal.
    There's nothing more enjoyable than suprise morning sex...
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    Unless you happen to be in jail at the time.
  • fishinbugfishinbug Posts: 557 Officer
    dewyafish wrote: »
    Florida needs some serious help with thier deer management plan.

    Go one whole season without harvesting a buck and see what you have the next year.
    Doe harvest needs to be more liberal.

    I like that idea.
  • BodineBodine Posts: 3,080 Captain
    Just go to the hunting section if you want to know why it will not change.
    Tons of city boys think they should be able to shoot anything with horns.
    Why? Because they dont want to put in the time to get in front of a mature deer or
    as was said above, they say why pass when the next guy will take him out.

    It is working on the land I hunt, even children are subject to 8 pt or better outside the ears.
    Guess what, we have enough like that through management, so it is not a problem for them to wait for
    a good one. Heck, 2.5 year olds can fit that mold, even in Fl.
    F the feds
  • micci_manmicci_man Somewhere in FLPosts: 14,937 AG
    Allowing 1 buck a day is a baaadd thing.

    I say 3 bucks a yr and 5-6 does anytime during the season. That's plenty of meat for anyone.
    Common Sense can't be bought, taught or gifted, yet it is one of the few things in life that is free, and most refuse to even attempt to possess it. - Miguel Cervantes
  • BodineBodine Posts: 3,080 Captain
    micci_man wrote: »
    Allowing 1 buck a day is a baaadd thing.

    I say 3 bucks a yr and 5-6 does anytime during the season. That's plenty of meat for anyone.

    Agreed, but make it one or two, two at most. (Bucks)
    F the feds
  • omegafooomegafoo Posts: 3,127 Captain
    ferris1248 wrote: »
    Do one buck a year for 3 years running, minimum 6 points. Then do 2 per year, minimum 8 points.

    6 does per year anytime during season.

    Will never fly for the reason Bodine stated - too many want to just shoot deer that is legal. I have one here at the office like that. I'm ok with 2 bucks a year. Heck, I'm picky enough that I rarely kill 1 a year regularly - especially hunting public land. Not to mention, I hate having an "8pt" rule. Shoot a Mature buck, regardless of what he is, and it won't matter if he's 6, 8, 10 or 12. He'll be mature. But that doesn't work because most can't judge a buck's age (I even learned a thing or two about judging upper age class deer's main beam length while in Missouri). Because most can't judge, the 3 or 2 "point" rule will be implemented - which is ok and helps most FL 1 y/o bucks make 2. Or, in the case of some of the panhandle counties - it won't change a thing as their nutrition is good enough that they might actually got a fork or 3 pt on one side as a 1.5y/o buck.

    And these proposals have been around for quite some time. They've been working on the DMU lines for a while and are using Zone D as a pilot for it. They wanted to have a harvest recording requirement, but that was shot down by the same folks that are afraid on not having a deer to shoot if they have antler restrictions. Give it a year or two and it won't be any different than it is now. Those shooting lots of young and dumb spikes will be shooting lots of 5 or 6pts.
  • ducknfishducknfish Posts: 3,821 Officer
    micci_man wrote: »
    Allowing 1 buck a day is a baaadd thing.

    I say 3 bucks a yr and 5-6 does anytime during the season. That's plenty of meat for anyone.

    Aint gonna happen.
    Part of the problem is that the state has vastly different deer densisties and some parts of the state apparently cannot sustain doe harvest in any numbers. Part of the problem is that there is still a mindset that harvesting a doe removes several generations of deer from the herd and we don't have many areas in the state that are pushing their carrying capacity. This from my friend who is a FWC biologist.
    And...good luck getting point restrictions in areas with any concentration of dog hunters (Like my area of the big bend). They can't count 1" tines on running bucks.
  • cracker4112cracker4112 Posts: 960 Officer
    I see it from both sides. I understand the APRs and doe harvests, etc. I know it benefits the herd. We use our does tags and have restrictions on the buck on my lease in Putnam County. I'm all for it. But its private and we manage it as we see fit...

    But I can also understand why someone on public land would just want to go shoot something, especially if they only manage to get out once in a while. If these new rules have a negative effect on hunter recruitment and retention due to lack of "opportunity", then I will be concerned. The fact is that after a couple of years with APRs the age structure changes and the number of deer who were off limits at the beginning become shooters and harvest picks back up...I worry about losing new hunters in the meantime. We can't afford it...
  • JKPJKP Posts: 3,211 Captain
    Another problem is all of the **** dog hunting and blasting anything that even looks like a buck.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,641 AG
    ducknfish wrote: »
    Aint gonna happen.
    Part of the problem is that the state has vastly different deer densisties and some parts of the state apparently cannot sustain doe harvest in any numbers. Part of the problem is that there is still a mindset that harvesting a doe removes several generations of deer from the herd and we don't have many areas in the state that are pushing their carrying capacity. This from my friend who is a FWC biologist.
    And...good luck getting point restrictions in areas with any concentration of dog hunters (Like my area of the big bend). They can't count 1" tines on running bucks.
    Nothing like bashing other hunters.

    We have a forkhorn rule on our club, works good in our area. Some of our good "STILL HUNTERS" shoot 7-12 bucks per year(3 pt and up, heavy on the 3 pt), I dog hunt, I haven't shot a buck in 3 years, shot a doe per year, but no bucks.
    I have shot 3 bucks and 3 does in a year so it's all relative.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,641 AG
    JKP wrote: »
    Another problem is all of the **** dog hunting and blasting anything that even looks like a buck.
    No, you are the problem.
    Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean you have a grasp on it.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • JKPJKP Posts: 3,211 Captain
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    No, you are the problem.
    Just because you don't understand it doesn't mean you have a grasp on it.

    I understand it just fine. Based upon your post above you seem to be a discriminate dog hunter who appreciates the need to preserve young bucks. However, I would argue that for ever hunter like you there are an equal number of folks who don't cull and blast anything with a shadow of a tine and hope for the best.

    Add to that the inherent inaccuracy of shooting a deer on the run (lost, wounded, gut shot deer) and the impact on breeding introduced by running a deer to the other side of the county and you've got a mess.

    Of course there are just as many still hunters who will take immature bucks. It is a problem that can't be easily regulated as many hunters don't appreciate the impact of their actions or simply don't care.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,641 AG
    JKP wrote: »
    I understand it just fine. Based upon your post above you seem to be a discriminate dog hunter who appreciates the need to preserve young bucks. However, I would argue that for ever hunter like you there are an equal number of folks who don't cull and blast anything with a shadow of a tine and hope for the best.

    Add to that the inherent inaccuracy of shooting a deer on the run (lost, wounded, gut shot deer) and the impact on breeding introduced by running a deer to the other side of the county and you've got a mess.

    Of course there are just as many still hunters who will take immature bucks. It is a problem that can't be easily regulated as many hunters don't appreciate the impact of their actions or simply don't care.
    We ran a 10pt last year 3 or 4 times in Dec. with one guy snapping a bum shell on him walking at 10 yards. he was killed the next day by a still hunter within 100 yards of where we jumped him last, So much for the next county BS.
    As far as gut shooting and wounding deer, bow hunters do far more of that than dog hunters.
    At least we have a dog to track them down.

    Immature bucks? State rule is 5" spike, not everyone is a bone collector.

    BTW, our club don't follow state rules on does either, we issue tags for does, 40 tags in all, that is the maximum amount of does that can be harvested in our club, never happens but that is it.


    Based on your post you just don't like dog hunters.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,641 AG
    Some of us shoot enough to be pretty good at shooting things running and flying. You should get out to the range more.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
  • RedhunterRedhunter Posts: 435 Deckhand
    I understand this probably will no fly but I would love to see it pass. I have hunters on two sides of me who shoot legal bucks. It makes it hard to watch one walk, which I do and hope for the best for the next year. Had a six that got through last year, had photos of him in July, he is a beautiful this year and have not seen him since.

    If they pass this how are they going to enforce. There is not enough FWC officers to really enforce this rule.
  • JKPJKP Posts: 3,211 Captain
    ANUMBER1 wrote: »
    Some of us shoot enough to be pretty good at shooting things running and flying. You should get out to the range more.

    You are welcome to come to my private range and try to out shoot me. I've tried to explain why I don't like some dog hunters in a nice way but all you want to do is start a pi$$ing contest. Not interested....

    The range invitation stands. We only have the 400 yard target cleared this year but that should be enough for you to show off your skills.
  • ANUMBER1ANUMBER1 Posts: 12,641 AG
    JKP wrote: »
    You are welcome to come to my private range and try to out shoot me. I've tried to explain why I don't like some dog hunters in a nice way but all you want to do is start a pi$$ing contest. Not interested....

    The range invitation stands. We only have the 400 yard target cleared this year but that should be enough for you to show off your skills.
    People like you are why PETA gets their foot in the door.

    I would never attempt a 400 yard shot, even from a rest, you guys up there must be true dat bone collectors to shoot 400 yards!
    Most of my dog hunting is done with a shotgun inside of 30 yards though I will poke at one with a rifle under the right conditions.

    I gots access to a bare bones trap range at a preserve in Romeo Fl. if you'd like to test your wingshooting skills, I'll even pay your guest fees if you're a little short.

    You weren't nice in your first post and you still ain't.
    I am glad to only be a bird hunter with bird dogs...being a shooter or dog handler or whatever other niche exists to separate appears to generate far too much about which to worry.
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